Skip to main content

Are you running a remote team? Building a strong remote work culture is probably a dream come true for you! And if you have a completely virtual workplace, your employees and virtual assistants could be across different time zones. This makes it even harder to cultivate a healthy, remote work environment.

Here at Outsourcing Angel, we’re lucky and proud to enjoy a happy, 100% remote work culture for 10 years and counting. 👼 And to help you build (and maintain 😉) your remote culture, we created this article just for you!

We compiled real examples of our remote work culture initiatives, some easy-to-implement tips, plus insights from our Founder & CEO Linh Podetti about keeping your virtual employees happy & motivated with a healthy work environment online.

And no need to be tech-savvy to implement any of these ideas! So read on and see if our tips apply to your business.

Our happy work culture at Outsourcing Angel

Pictured: Outsourcing Angels jumping for joy on Vanishing Island

Since 2020, remote work has been a major part of business operations globally. And we think it is safe to say it has become the “new normal”. 🧑‍💻

In fact, according to Owl Labs’ report during the pandemic, 84% of employees said they would be happier if they continued to work remotely. Some were even willing to take a pay cut for it!

And of course, they’re happy with remote work. There’s no need to commute. There’s no dress code to follow. You can wear pyjamas all day, and no one would care! Most of all, people can now work from anywhere in the world.

But perhaps the best thing about remote work is productivity. Despite working away from a physical office, 90% of employees say they were as productive or more while working remotely.

But here’s the catch.

With no physical office space, team members often feel isolated and unmotivated. This makes it harder to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals.

And remote workplace or not, hiring the best is not enough!

You get the best and make them even better through your healthy and happy work environment.

That is one of our philosophies at Outsourcing Angel. We’re a completely remote Virtual Assistant agency with over 90 remote staff across the globe. We also have more than a decade of service under our belt.

And we get the best talent out there with our tried & tested VA hiring process, which we constantly fine-tune. Check it out for yourself in the link above!

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Virtual Assistants meeting each other for the first time

So, how do we keep our remote team happy and productive?

Here’s the condensed version (We’ll talk about concrete tips in a bit!):

We’ve created a strong sense of community through regular team-building events and various virtual catch-ups. Never believe anyone who says throwing a virtual office party is impossible. We do it monthly! 😆

We also place a strong emphasis on employee well-being. We provide regular training and personal development opportunities to ensure staff members are constantly developing new skills.

On top of all that, we make it a point to celebrate staff achievements and milestones. This initiative ensures team members across all departments feel valued and recognised for their hard work despite the online set-up.

So it’s no surprise that clients choose us over other providers. How we look after our staff and Virtual Assistants consistently manifests in high-quality work.

Want to try our services for yourself? Chat with our Outsourcing Specialist and see if our solutions work for you!

Of course, none of this would be possible without someone leading the charge. For that, we have to thank our Founder & CEO Linh Podetti.

She showed us the difference between a manager and a leader, and the impact on our business has just been game-changing.

The difference between a manager and a leader

Pictured: Linh Podetti giving Virtual Assistant JK a MacBook Pro, a gift from his client Den Lennie

Whenever our Founder & CEO Linh attends speaking events, people ask her the same question: How does she keep her remote team happy and motivated despite everyone working purely online?

The answer is she leads instead of manages.

We know that sounds cliche, but hear us out! The language you use within your company can evoke different emotions and expectations from your employees. And believe it or not, people have unconscious interpretations of these terms.

In Linh’s own words:

A manager takes up their position to build their position and have the power to manage people. While a leader takes up their position to build others up and to serve the people under their care. A leader is there to coach, mentor, guide and build up others.

So if you’re a business owner, you should ask yourself, ‘Do you want a team that is managed well or a team that is led well?”

Building a happy, collaborative remote team means being a manager is not enough
So, be a leader! A leader first asks, “What can I do for you?” before they even say, “Do this for me.”

This idea sounds obvious, but a well-led team is a rare occurrence these days. Usually, teams don’t have leaders. Instead, they have bosses who act like managers 🙊

Linh also believes that becoming a true leader inspires and motivates your team to do great things. And after that, growth in your business will be a bonus that naturally follows!

6 Human Needs: Tony Robbins

So—to build a strong remote work culture, you must first build up your virtual employees. But how do you start?

First, we should understand the 6 Human Needs by Tony Robbins. These are the driving factors for every decision we make at Outsourcing Angel.

Pictured: Tony Robbin’s 6 core human needs from Habits of Wellbeing

We believe that the best way to make virtual assistants and employees stay, grow and thrive within our company is to meet all these needs.

1. Certainty:

The most basic need of human beings is comfort and certainty. Members of your team have to feel comfortable around everyone—including leaders!—and certain about their career, contribution and financial stability.

2. Variety:

Now and then, you should also try to break the “business as usual” routine and keep things fresh and exciting for your virtual employees. This initiative can come in small gestures like organising a surprise gift or bigger ones, like company trips. These actions should spark the adrenaline jolt we all crave.

3. Significance:

Building a feeling of significance means making your virtual assistants and employees feel unique and needed. They need to know that their voice matters. Whether you’re encouraging an open feedback loop or recognising efforts company-wide through a reward points system, all these opportunities for recognition matter.

4. Love & Connection:

Even as a leader, you have to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with your virtual assistants and employees. Building this connection starts just by getting to know them as a person, not just as an employee. So ask about their goals, hobbies and the things that they love. Make room for “get to know you” activities or social catch-ups outside work.

5. Growth:

Encouraging growth in your remote team creates a sense of purpose, engagement, and motivation for your team members. When they feel they are growing and developing their skills, they are more likely to be invested in their work and committed to your business. So be sure to expand their capacity, capability and understanding of their roles. This effort can inspire them to go the extra mile!

6. Contribution:

They say that the secret to living is giving. At Outsourcing Angel, we focus on helping, giving to and supporting others through our monthly charity donations to the Philippines.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Founder Linh Podetti with the kids from the Dumagat Tribe in the Philippines

Each month, we share the impact of these donations through photos, videos and company updates. Our big-hearted Virtual Assistants from the Philippines even volunteer and assist in these programs!

Consistently addressing these 6 needs helps us scale to even greater heights at Outsourcing Angel.

And by the way, we’re not saying our remote work culture is perfect! A virtual workspace with zero issues does NOT exist.

All we have is a happy team composed of people from different cultures and backgrounds. A team that works well together and comes up with solutions day in and day out. While having fun! 🥳

Tips for a strong remote work culture: Outsourcing Angel edition

Pictured: Outsourcing Angels with their team colours for the ice breaker games

Now, we get to the juicy part! At Outsourcing Angel, we constantly work on maintaining our strong & healthy remote culture with these tips.

Apply these to your workplace if you want to! You can even customise these to suit your own needs and management style 😎

Tip #1: Gamification

All work, no play? Not for us! We implement game-like elements into our remote workplace to revolutionise our interactions.
How we do it:

Karma points

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Slack channel where team members can give a shoutout and reward other members with Karma points

For daily communications, we use Slack, which has a tool called Karma Bot. The Karma Bot allows staff members to “give karma” to someone and reward them for great work. When you give someone karma, entire teams get a notification on Slack, so we celebrate each individual’s work together.

The best part? Our staff can accumulate karma points and cash them in for prizes! Karma points can get you gift cards, food vouchers, self-care experiences, appliances, and more.

We already lost count of how many people enjoyed spa days through karma points! 😂

Pictured: Social Media Manager Victoria enjoying a spa treatment and pedicure thanks to her Karma points

Spin the wheel

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s ‘Spin the wheel’

We have a quarterly tracker we update each time we come closer to our target. We always think of fun and interactive themes so that everyone is excited.

For this quarter, each time we get a new client deposit, our Sales Manager will spin a wheel with karma points to reward the whole team on the new client deposit!

Angel Nation Competitions

Pictured: Our General Manager asking our Angel Nation team to vote for the upcoming competition

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Among Us tournament

We call our Virtual Assistants our “Angel Nation”, and every month our Admin Team will hold an Angel Nation Competition to excite and reward our amazing Angel team 👼

Sometimes, we do challenges like “Show off your cooking skills!” or games everyone is into at the time, like Among Us. 👀 Everyone hops on Zoom to do these games live, and winners get prizes!

Monthly Admin Games

When the admin team has their monthly catch-up, we assign one person to host an online game once we finish all the formalities. These games have varied from things like, “Guess whose baby photo this is?”, online pictionary using, Wheel of Fortune based on company values and principles, and silly fun facts to using Zoom apps like #AskAway.

We even experimented with sites like Gather, which allows us to build digital spaces that make virtual interactions more human! 😹

Tip #2: Create fun team-building opportunities

In a virtual work environment, you must create opportunities for your team to connect and build relationships outside work tasks. By incorporating fun and engaging team-building activities, not only will you foster a sense of community and collaboration, but you will also boost morale and productivity.
How we do it:

In-person meet-ups and events

While it’s fun and flexible to work remotely, there’s nothing like spending quality time with each other outside of the workplace environment. We often have in-person events organised for our Virtual Assistants in the Philippines central where most of them are located. These have included fun activities such as archery or just a casual lunch catch-up for the foodies.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Virtual Assistant Team in the Philippines enjoying an archery session

Client and Virtual Assistant meet-ups

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Virtual Assistants Jenny and Fiona from the Philippines were flown to Perth by our amazing clients from Your Social Voice for their Christmas party!

Some of our clients love their Virtual Assistants so much that they’ve covered the cost of their flights to join them in Australia for special occasions like Christmas Parties! We really love it when this happens and we’ll try to organise a Client and Virtual Assistant in-person catch-up if any of our Angels are ever in town. We’ll take them out to see the highlights of the City and treat them to fun lunches and activities too.

Random Question Generator

Pictured: Random Question Generator as an ice breaker exercise in meetings

Every week, our team has catch-up meetings when we discuss reports and track our performance. It can be a bit boring, to be honest! 🤣 So we like to spice things up and make meetings more fun using a Random Question Generator. We take turns answering random questions, which helps us get to know each other better. It’s been a great way to inject personality into those weekly meetings!

Monthly Facebook Live Sessions

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s CEO Linh Podetti hosting a Facebook Live session

No matter where our CEO Linh Podetti is in the world, she always makes sure to organise a Facebook Live session with our Virtual Assistants via our Private Facebook Group. During these sessions, it’s an opportunity for staff to ask any questions as well as hear about important company updates, shout-outs to welcoming newcomers and announcing competition winners.

And our amazing VAs even get to chat with her and each other in the comments section. It’s a virtual party, and everyone is welcome! 🥳

Online Parties

That’s right—MORE parties 🙈 We love to throw online parties for special occasions, like Valentine’s Day, Christmas and sometimes just for fun. Each bash has a theme, and we encourage everyone to dress up and show off their get-ups. Plus, the person with the outfit that slays the best wins a sweet prize.

Outsourcing Angel’s Online Beach Party

Linh is full of surprises when it comes to party planning. She always organises hilarious surprises for the team from Michael Jackson impersonators and dancers from Fiverr to engaging get-to-know-you games. You never know what’s coming next!

Get to know a team member

Linh thought of this idea: she pairs up two staff members who might not usually work together and gives them the homework of catching up over Zoom. The objective? Get to know each other! It’s a chance to connect with someone new and maybe even make a new friend within the team.

In our next monthly meeting, we share two cool facts we learned about our pair. It’s like a mini icebreaker session, and it’s been so fun to hear about all the cool things our colleagues have discovered.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Team members having a casual catch-up to get to know each other

Random Slack Channels

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s team members sharing their pet moments in the “fur-the-love-of-pets” Slack channel

On top of our work-related Slack channels, we also have random channels where our staff can discuss common interests. These channels include “fur the love of pets” (for animal lovers), “mukbangs” (for any food lovers), and more!

Fitness classes & 6-week challenges

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s CEO Linh Podetti hosting an online fitness class with our Virtual Assistant Team

We often host fitness classes on the weekends. If you’re keen, you can hop in and join the fun. Linh chooses an online fitness video to follow, and we all get our heart rates pumping together.

And if you want to step it up a notch, we even do these 6-week fitness challenges as a team. We hold each other accountable by sharing our food choices and weigh-ins. It’s like having a personal trainer plus a whole squad of cheerleaders all rolled into one 🏃💪

Online Game Tournaments

A few times a year, our team organises online mobile game tournaments. These are open to all Angels and their families. It’s a chance to show off their skills and maybe even win more sweet prizes.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Virtual Assistant Team playing a game of virtual Among Us

We played all sorts of games in the past, like Among Us, Pokemon Unite, Pictionary, and more. It’s always a good time—we love how everyone comes together for friendly competition!

Ad-hoc checks

Never forget the power of dropping a private message to someone on your team. 🤗 Checking in is essential, even if it’s just to see how someone is doing or feeling or to show a funny GIF!

Birthdays and celebrations

We’ll always organise gifts and birthday surprises for our staff members no matter where they’re located. We’ll either send a birthday surprise, meal deliveries and gifts for new parents or newly engaged staff members. We’ll always find an excuse to make a big deal out of events!

CEO Linh Podetti will always make sure to organise a lunch get together with the Australian team to celebrate birthdays and milestones too!

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s tech expert and his family celebrating with a birthday feast!

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Australian team celebrating our Marketing Manager’s birthday at the Sailing Club

In-person meet-ups

Pictured: The Outsourcing Angel Team enjoying a relaxing coffee catch-up in the Philippines

Our Philippines team also has casual in-person meet-ups all the time. They had bowling days, went ice skating, and lunches together. But the best part: Outsourcing Angel covers the cost of these catch-ups! 🤑

Annual Company Trips

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Australian and Philippines Team on our annual company trip

Every year, our Australian Team flies to the Philippines to spend time with our Philippines team in-person! Our last annual company trip was to the beautiful Samal Island — we stayed at an island beach resort, sang karaoke, went on a boat tour, and spent quality time together.

During these trips, we also hike to remote tribal communities with our charity partner. Our team gives in-person support and donations to these communities. These are genuinely heartwarming experience that brings us all closer together.

Weekend getaways

Once a year, our Australia team plans a getaway to let loose and enjoy each other’s company. Think epic weekend trips to places like Jervis Bay. 🏖️ It’s the perfect excuse to soak up some sun, hit the beach, and make special memories.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel’s Australian Team enjoying a weekend getaway in Jervis Bay

But it’s not just the Aussies that get to have all the fun. Our Philippines team gets in on the action too! They also have an annual getaway where they can let their hair down and have a blast. When building up a team, nothing beats bonding over some well-deserved R&R.

Tip #3: Provide the Rimba experience

Linh once had a wonderful time at Rimba by AYANA Resort in Bali, Indonesia. The staff took such great care of her that it left a lasting impression and made her truly feel special. With this, Linh coined the term “Rimba experience.”

The “Rimba experience” is about doing simple acts of kindness that remind our clients that they are important to us and that our relationship with them is special.

How we do it:

Visiting our clients

Our CEO Linh is a social butterfly and will find every opportunity to visit and catch-up with our clients in-person. It’s always very eye-opening to us to see how our client’s businesses operate and their workspaces and our bond with them grows stronger with each visit.

Client milestones, both work and personal, are just as important to us as our own! We’ll always make sure to send special gifts and care packages and Linh will of course make in-person visits to them too.

Pictured: Our CEO Linh Podetti visiting clients Ricky and Charmaine at the Taste Studios office in Adelaide (right) and visiting client Jade Allerby and congratulating her on her new bundle of joy! (left)

Handwritten personalised cards to clients

Pictured: Handwritten messages from our Virtual Assistants to their clients

Pictured: Feedback from our client on a personalised card we organised for them with a photo of their family

We use SendOutCards to create personalised cards with special handwritten messages from our team or their dedicated Virtual Assistant to thank them for being amazing clients or to commemorate special moments.

SendOutCards also allows us to even personalise the front of the card with an image of the client or a special memory and we always get positive feedback!

Video Messages from our CEO

Pictured: Feedback from our client about a personalised video message sent from our CEO

Linh will also films special video messages for our clients to make them feel like they’re part of our family. These video messages can easily be sent via WhatsApp, iMessage or email depending on where the client prefers to communicate. Remember to always take into consideration the client’s preferred method of communication when sending your personalised messages!

Celebrating client and VA anniversaries

Pictured: Feedback from our client from an anniversary gift sent to them on behalf of Outsourcing Angel and their virtual assistant

We use HubSpot to collect all of our client information and have notifications set for upcoming client and VA anniversaries. This allows us to organise surprise gifts to thank our clients and celebrate the wonderful anniversary of their VA relationship!

Taking our clients out for lunch or dinner

Pictured: Aussie team Linh, Katey and Richard catching up with our clients from Freedom Capital Finance for dinner

Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a cause for celebration and a simple “just because” lunch or dinner on us is enough to start a blossoming relationship with our clients.

Dedicated Virtual Office Manager

All of our Outsourcing Angel clients are assigned a Virtual Office Manager (VOM) to oversee the relationship between the client and their virtual assistant. This allows us to ensure that the client’s expectations are met and that our team is readily available if any issues or miscommunications arise.

While the VOM monitors the work progress of the client and VA, their job is rto also make the best recommendations for VA training and client coaching.

Client check-ins

We have scheduled client check-ins with our clients at the following stages:

  • 1 month
  • 6 month
  • 1 year
  • Annually from thereon

Our VOM will facilitate these routine check-ins where our clients are offered a safe space to openly talk about their experience with our service so far. Routine check-in meetings also show our clients that we value their business and are committed to their success. By taking the time to meet with them regularly, we demonstrate our dedication and willingness to go above and beyond.

Lifetime Client Happiness Guarantee

100% Lifetime Guarantee

If for any reason, you’re not happy with your Virtual Assistant. We’ll find you a replacement at zero additional cost. Plus, you’ll get 1 week of VA service for free! This is to help you get settled with your new VA.

The best part? You’re covered for a lifetime. We extend this Client Happiness Guarantee to all of our clients no matter what stage you’re in – whether you’ve just hired your first VA or you’ve been with us for years.

After matching our clients with their Virtual Assistants, we don’t just cross our fingers and hope for the best!

We also have our Lifetime Client Happiness Guarantee on top of all our other initiatives. It assures clients that if they’re not happy with their chosen VA for any reason at all (which can happen), we’ll find them a replacement at zero additional cost.

Plus, we even offer 1 week of free VA service to help clients settle in with their new virtual assistant. 😉

This extra effort shows that we’re committed to their long-term success. It doesn’t even matter whether they just hired their first VA or been with us for years. Our clients are covered for life!

Tip #4: Constructive & compassionate performance management

Another component of a healthy remote work culture is effective performance management. Aside from having fun, we do like to achieve goals too!

Every team member must be performing at their best. Their best helps contribute to our overall productivity, after all. So we provide the support they need in a constructive & compassionate way.

How we do it:

Monthly 1:1 Pulse Checks

Our leaders (a.k.a managers) connect with their teams individually each month. For this, we use a 4-Questions Template prepared ahead of each session. The template covers the 4 following questions:

Pulse Check Questions
What’s one thing you’re excited about?
What’s one thing you’re worried about?
What’s one thing I can do better to help you with your job?
What’s one thing you can do better to improve at your job?

Our main goal with the monthly pulse checks is to get to know our staff as a person outside of work. The session is not just about performance but deals more with their welfare, exploring opportunities to share innovative ideas and brainstorming areas of focus for improvement.

Tip #5: Encourage learning

This tip is another way to create a sense of collaboration in a virtual, global setting. At Outsourcing Angel, we believe that learning is not just about‌ improving the performance of our team and the quality of our work but also about personal growth.

How we do it:

Virtual Assistant Workshops

Pictured: Our Virtual Assistants hosting their own workshops to help each other learn and grow

Our Virtual Assistants are not just experts in their respective fields. They are also passionate about sharing their knowledge with fellow VAs. So we encourage them to run workshops, both online and in person. This way, they teach other VAs the tricks of the trade.

These workshops are an incredible opportunity for professional development and foster a sense of community among our team members. It’s all about empowering each other to succeed!

Encourage upskilling

Pictured: Our Virtual Assistants hosting their in-person workshops in the Philippines

We always encourage our team to continually learn and upskill by attending raining sessions, workshops and online training. It’s always great to see our VAs attend workshops together and build a closer bond and the company is more than happy to cover the cost!

These workshops are an incredible opportunity for professional development and foster a sense of community among our team members. It’s all about empowering each other to succeed!

Sharing our skills and knowledge

Pictured: Our team members sharing industry news and updates via Slack

We also set up a Slack channel dedicated just to learning. This channel allows our VAs to share all the latest news and updates in their fields, from changes in Instagram reels to learning Squarespace, and more so that we’re always up-to-date together!

Tip #6: Consider charity

Building a strong remote work culture is not just about productivity and collaboration. It’s also about making a positive impact beyond the confines of our virtual office. One way to achieve this is by incorporating charity into our work culture.
How we do it:

Charity Updates

Every month, we donate 10% of our company profits to charity initiatives in the Philippines and our volunteers from our charity partner, TnB, will visit remote tribal communities and provide them with food, supplies, solar power, water irrigation systems, medicine and clothes. We also fund these donations and share our charity milestones with the team every month.

Pictured: TnB our volunteer partners in the Philippines visiting remote tribal communities and donating school supplies to children in need

Pictured: Our volunteer partners in the Philippines visiting remote tribal communities and donating food, clothing and supplies to the community

Volunteering Opportunities

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel Virtual Assistants volunteering at the Virlanie Foundation to help underprivileged youth learn workplace skills

Our Virtual Assistants living in the Philippines can also volunteer to help any time they want! We sponsor charity organisations like the Virlanie Foundation and allow our VAs to host their outreach workshops.

Pictured: Outsourcing Angel Virtual Assistants volunteering at the Virlanie Foundation to help underprivileged youth learn workplace skills

These workshops help underprivileged youth learn skills that enable them to find part-time or full-time jobs. Our VAs loved running these workshops and meeting the kids!

Book a free Discovery Call today!

Did these tips inspire you to build your healthy, remote work culture? We hope so!

And if you want to add a capable Virtual Assistant to your remote team, book a quick call with our Outsourcing Specialist today!

Arielle Calanas

Arielle is Outsourcing Angel’s resident copywriter. She has over 9 years of writing experience and graduated magna cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Mindanao in 2019. Currently, she crafts high-engagement content that reflects our brand voice, from client case studies to blog articles and more.